LASIK Side Effects: What to Expect

September 19th, 2019

For patients interested in LASIK surgery, it’s important to know about the possible side effects so you can prepare for a safe recovery process. 

Millions of Americans have opted for LASIK surgery, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. In a process that usually takes 30 minutes or less, eye surgeons use advanced laser technology to cut a flap in your eye and reshape your cornea to improve your overall vision. For patients suffering from nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, LASIK offers an effective alternative to glasses or contact lenses. 

However, many prospective patients have questions and concerns about what they can expect after LASIK surgery. While the risks for serious complications from the procedure are low — many surgeons estimate the rate to be below 1% — there are some minor side effects that patients may experience.

Generally speaking, the side effects of the procedure are not serious, but it’s still important to consult with an eye care specialist before and after you receive LASIK. This can help ensure a quick and safe recovery that will allow you to enjoy the greatest possible benefits of the treatment. 

Common Side Effects

Immediately after receiving LASIK, many patients experience eye irritation. This ranges from itchiness and burning to watery eyes and pain. Thankfully, the discomfort is manageable, and eye surgeons regularly prescribe pain medication and eye drops to help patients stay comfortable in the hours following the procedure. 

Additionally, your vision will likely be blurry immediately after receiving LASIK. Although you’ll be able to see, you won’t enjoy the full effects of LASIK right away. Patients generally experience varying levels of blurriness for up to two or three months after their procedure, with vision gradually stabilizing and becoming clearer during that timespan. 

In some instances, patients may experience complications with the corneal flap, a hinged opening that the surgeon creates in order to reach the inner eye. These may involve the flap not healing properly or microscopic wrinkles forming. Usually, these problems can be spotted and fixed during the same LASIK procedure. 

Tips for Recuperating

As with any medical procedure, patients should be sure to consult with their doctor before and after LASIK. Eye surgeons often recommend that you sleep with a shield over your eyes at night so that tossing and turning doesn’t disturb the healing process. This is because the corneal flap needs time to stabilize. 

Beyond this, you should avoid participating in contact sports and swimming, including using hot tubs. It’s also recommended that you stay away from any eye makeup or lotions until you’re given the all-clear from your doctor. 

The Benefits of LASIK

For patients who may be experiencing nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, LASIK is an effective way to correct vision without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. This makes it a popular option for those hoping to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle without the inconvenience of visual aids. However, it’s important to speak with your eye care specialist about the potential side effects of the procedure so that you can enjoy a quick and safe recovery. 

If you’re ready for LASIK or if you’re just interested in learning more, reach out to the eye care specialists at Swagel Wootton Eye Institute. Qualified experts will be able to give you the information you need and brief you about potential side effects so you can make an informed decision. Schedule a VIP consultation at our Mesa and Chandler locations today to start your journey.